Be My Guest
Mr B's review
Author Priya Basil was born in London, has Indian parentage and spent most of her childhood in Kenya. Her family history and the experience of being an outsider are considered through her experiences of hospitality and sharing food. This is a timely reminder that the simple act of eating together can cut through differences and create strong family and community ties. You’ll see the hosting of that Christmas dinner in a whole new light
‘A brave and beautiful exploration into food, race, memory and the very meaning of life. I read it greedily – and so will you’ Meera Sodha, author of Fresh India
The dinner table, among friends, is where the best conversations take place – talk about the world, religion, politics, culture, love and cooking. In the same way, Be My Guest is a conversation about all these things, mediated through the sharing of food. We live in a world where some have too much and others not enough, where migrants and refugees are both welcomed and vilified, and where most of us spend less and less time cooking and eating together. Priya Basil explores the meaning and limits of hospitality today, and in doing so she invites us to consider that how much we have in common may depend on what we are willing to share.
An intimate, delicious and thought-provoking story, told with warmth, humour and generosity — NIGEL SLATER The subject of food and its many-threaded associations – of generosity and privation, sharing and hoarding, diversity and denial, pleasure and fear – is the starting point for this absorbing meditation on the interface of self with other in contemporary Europe. Priya Basil writes with honesty, clarity and wit about what it means to be hospitable in a culture of selfishness, and the problems and possibilities of commonality — RACHEL CUSK A brave and beautiful exploration into food, race, memory and the very meaning of life. I read it greedily – and so will you — MEERA SODHA Be My Guest is a great essay on food and hospitality, on the act of sharing meals together, of family and of migration. It uses food and feeding guests and ideas of hospitality to ask bigger, wider questions about the precariousness of immigration and the inhospitable times we find ourselves in. Beautifully, deliciously written — NIKESH SHUKLA Be My Guest offers a rare combination of intellectual sophistication and emotional warmth. I enjoyed it very much — SARAH MOSS * * author of Ghost Wall * *
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